Performance-based Research Funding Systems (PRFS) are one of the mechanisms through which countries try to increase the performance of their public sector research systems. The nature of these systems – based on peer reviews, metrics or a combination of both – varies considerably among countries. The MLE will provide a learning opportunity for countries willing to better understand the advantages and drawbacks of various options, improve ongoing PRFS and deepen the assessments of the impact of different systems.
At the Scoping Workshop main decisions were adopted for the implementation of the MLE: scope, preliminary work plan and distribution of work.
At the kick off meeting, the main decisions were adopted for the implementation of the MLE (Modus Operandi) and a first discussion took place on key concepts, overview of models, achievements, policy drivers and challenges of Performance-based Research Funding Systems (PRFS).
This first working meeting on Performance-based Research Funding Systems (PRFS) focused on the links between policy objectives and design options for performance assessment and performance-based funding models. The broad characteristics of PRFS in the participating countries were discussed, as well as their potential effects – intended or unintended – on the behaviour of the research community.
How to use bibliometrics to assess performance and inform research funding? The first country visit of the MLE on Performance-based Research Funding Systems – to Rome, Italy – focused on the use of bibliometrics in PRFS and their potential effects. The host, ANVUR (the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research Systems), provided insight into the characteristics of the bibliometrics used in the Italian PRFS.
The second country visit of the MLE on Performance-based Research Funding Systems (PRFS) – hosted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – provided insight into the approach to peer review-based evaluations in the United Kingdom, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and Research Excellence Framework (REF). In addition, the meeting looked at the use of peer review in PRFS and possible approaches for increasing efficiency and assuring necessary rigour in assessments.
This meeting focused on an element all performance-based research funding systems (PRFS) are struggling with: the assessment of the societal relevance of research. Possible approaches were discussed, based on international practice and the participating countries' expertise.